Cohen/Def Jam Win Judgment, Damages Reduced

Island Def Jam Music

Group CEO Lyor Cohen won a judgment yesterday, dramatically reducing the amount

Cohen was ordered to pay for allegedly blocking the release of an album featuring

Ja Rule on TVT Records.

On March 21, an

8 person jury in Manhattan federal court found Cohen personally liable for fraud

and willful copyright infringement for blocking the release of The Cash Money

Cliq. TVT was awarded $132 million dollars, $56 million of which Cohen was to

be held accountable for.

Cohen's punitive

damages were cut from $56 million dollars to $3 million, while Def Jam was ordered

to pay $50 million dollars in punitive damages, as opposed to the original $108


Cohen's attorney,

Matthew Dontzin, said that any judgment against his client was doomed to failure

and that he would appeal the decision.

Island Def Jam

is a unit of Vivendi/Universal. Yesterday, Vivendi's chairman Doug Morris announced

a price cutting initiative, reducing the amount of CD's starting as early as

October 1st.

Titles that are

retailing for $16.98 and $18.98 will be dropped to $12.98, in an effort to jump

start the stagnant sales of CD's.

"We strongly

believe that when the prices are dramatically reduced on so many titles, we

will drive consumers back to stores and significantly bolster music sales,"

Morris said in a statement.